Environment Court decision seals deal for SkyPath

Publish Date : 16 Dec 2016
Next steps for SkyPath funding
Credit: Build Media

Auckland Council has welcomed the final written decision of the Environment Court to grant a resource consent for SkyPath.

Councillor Chris Darby, chair of the Planning Committee, says the decision is a great move forward for Auckland’s transport network.

“This is a momentous step in what will become a critical link in Auckland’s walking and cycling network, for which there is a phenomenal public appetite," he says.

“SkyPath is the beacon for the future of active transport in Auckland, and is a crucial part of a grand vision to connect Takapuna with St Heliers."

“This project has been underway for 12 years and I’d like to thank the SkyPath Trust, and particularly project director Bevan Woodward, for their tireless dedication in progressing it.

“SkyPath has passed every test and challenge thrown at it. It has been rigorously examined by both the council and the Environment Court. I’m looking forward to seeing this project realised.”

The court concluded that the proposed conditions for the operation of SkyPath will “regulate and minimise effects on the environment entirely adequately” and acknowledged that a patronage cap at the northern landing, as sought by the appellant, would “entirely undermine” the transport function of the project.

The resource consent was originally granted in July 2015 by independent commissioners for the council, but was appealed to the court by several community organisations.

SkyPath is a pedestrian and cycle pathway across the Waitematā Harbour, linking the North Shore to the CBD.

It is proposed to be 4m wide, 6m wide at the five viewing platforms, and fixed to the eastern clip-on lane of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Brett O’Riley, chief executive of council-controlled organisation Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) and Auckland Council’s project sponsor for SkyPath, says, “We’re thrilled to see the SkyPath take another step towards becoming a reality for Aucklanders and visitors to the city."

“This project will serve as a drawcard for visitors and opens up a new way of experiencing our stunning harbour and city.”

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